Q: You have the reputation of being one of the nicest guys in the field. We both know you're a hyena on its hind legs. How have you fooled everyone?There are some fascinating essays in the collection (and some less so). There is a definite religious focus in many of his essays in The Castle of the Otter, the companion volume to The Book of the New Sun, which I believe reveals the degree to which religious and theological ideas were central to the book's development and writing.
A: By keeping my mouth shut when I read garbage.
Q: Have you found that difficult?
A: No. I'm constantly running into people who've read bad books clean to the end. I admire them more than I can say, but I can't do that—when I get shit in my eyes I close them fast and cry.
Q: You also throw the book at the wall and scare the dog.
A: Yeah. And when somebody asks me how I liked the book, I say I haven't read it, because it's really not fair for me to judge without finishing the book. Maybe the last nine-tenths are marvelous. But I doubt it.
Now it's on to Shadows of the New Sun: Wofle on Writing/Writers on Wolfe, edited by Peter Wright. I'm mining the essays (and interviews) for what Wolfe says about his own faith, ideology and worldview. I've read much of what he's written on the topic before, but now I have to relocate it for proper citation.